4 Ways to Get Efficient with a Video Advertising Platform

Programmatic Video Advertising Platform

Video advertising is constantly evolving. Buyers today engage with videos through technology that didn’t exist only a decade ago, and brands are leveraging an expanding ecosystem of tools to reach them. Increasingly, advertisers and agencies are turning to programmatic platforms, which automate and optimize buying and selling.

We all know that any valuable technology should make you smarter, more efficient, and more effective. But when it comes to a video ad platform, what do those terms actually mean? Last week on the blog, we talked about the first pillar — how platforms make video ads smarter. This week, we’ll turn our focus to the second pillar: Efficiency.

Here are four ways that a video ad platform should you more efficient:

1. You can buy ads at the single-impression level. Traditionally, advertisers and agencies set a single price they’re willing to pay for millions of impressions. But not all impressions are created equal — a viewer outside of your target demographic is worth less than your ideal buyer. Using a platform with real-time bidding, you set the price for each individual impression. This gives you greater control over cost, and greater precision in who views your ad.

2. You can automate your process. There are thousands of potential placements for any given ad — how do you select and negotiate for the right inventory? More importantly, how do you scale that process? A good platform automates placement, helping you access the best inventory across websites, mobile websites, and mobile apps.

3. You can view your entire performance in one place. Optimizing your campaigns is all about recognizing patterns, and then steering your strategy in the right direction. If you can’t understand your campaign performance holistically, you can easily miss patterns in consumer behavior, and opportunities to improve. A video ad platform gives you one source of information about your campaigns.

4. You can control frequency. You’re probably buying inventory from multiple publishers, but that makes frequency hard to manage. And if you’re buying inventory from multiple sources — from publishers, through ad networks, or through ad exchanges — it’s even harder. A platform helps you prevent audience overlap between publishers, managing frequency across all inventory sources.

To learn more about working efficiently with video ad platforms, download our new ebook: Seeing is Believing: Smart, Efficient Marketing with the Right Video Advertising Platform


6 Ways Advertisers and Agencies Can Protect Themselves from Traffic Fraud

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 8.36.26 AM

Every year, marketers spend billions of dollars on video ads. Unfortunately, those ads aren’t always seen by real people. Using sophisticated technology that simulates human behavior, fraudsters generate (and profit from) fake impressions, which affects not only advertisers, but also agencies, intermediaries, and publishers. Wasted marketing spend is bad for the entire ecosystem.

That’s why it’s crucial for advertisers and agencies to take a systematic approach to detecting and deterring invalid traffic. In our recent whitepaper on the subject, we zero in on the history of traffic fraud, how fraud can be perpetuated, and the best ways for the advertising industry to fight it.

Here are six ways advertisers and agencies can protect themselves from invalid, bot-driven traffic:

1. Validate your impressions with accredited, third-party verification services. You’ll want an independent, third-party measurement company that doesn’t buy or sell media media — the referee shouldn’t also play the game. Your third-party should be able to verify your media seller’s own reporting.

2. Establish your target audience. Don’t just agree on a number of impressions — come to an agreement about who will be reached. When you review your campaigns, verify that your target audience was shown your ad. An independent, unbiased third party like comScore or Nielsen should be able to confirm that your target was reached.

3. Follow IAB Quality Assurance Guidelines. Using a technology partner who is certified by the IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau) helps ensure transparency and prevent fraud. Ideally, your DSP (demand-side platform) should allow you to filter inventory based on the IAB’s guidelines.

4. Know where your ads run. Review any URLs where your ads are running — placement can have a huge impact on your brand.  You’ll want to secure information about URLs before your ads run, and a third-party verifier should continually review and verify them.

5. Negotiate a refund/recourse plan for invalid traffic. If you verify that a percentage bot-driven traffic has affected your numbers, you’ll want a plan of recourse firmly in place. Suppliers commonly refund money paid for false impressions, or issue a “make good” with legitimate impressions at no extra charge.

6. Take part in the solution. Join efforts from advertisers, agencies, publishers, and tech platforms are already making traffic fraud harder to commit, and easier to identify. Not sure where to start? Check out the IAB, 4A’s, and ANA’s Trustworthy Accountability Group.

Want to learn more about combating traffic fraud? Download our whitepaper, Traffic Fraud in Video Advertising for crucial vocabulary, best practices, and more.


December Round-Up: The Best Things We Read about Programmatic

Best Programmatic Reading December

Earlier this month, the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) announced its word of the year for 2014. That word? Programmatic. But even the ANA admits that most marketers aren’t sure what it means. More than half of marketers they surveyed confessed that they “don’t understand programmatic buying well enough to use it to buy and manage campaigns.”

Luckily, there are plenty of smart, well-written, thoughtful articles about programmatic advertising. To help our readers get started, here are the best things we’ve read about programmatic in the past month:

Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Programmatic but Were Too Afraid to Ask (IAB) — Broken down into an easily digestible list, this article was sourced directly from the IAB’s Programmatic Summit this fall. The IAB is a source of unbiased information for anyone learning about programmatic, and this article is no exception. If you’re an auditory learner, click through to the videos of speakers and slides.

What is This Thing Called Programmatic?” (Gartner Blog Network) — Using definitions given by digital marketing thought leaders such as CMO Council, Digiday, Ad Age, and the IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau), this article offers “a clear, straightforward, unambiguous definition of the word ‘Programmatic.’”

The Future of TV is Programmatic (ADOTAS) — Television advertisers have always tried to match their ad buys to content, hoping they’ll reach their target audience. But, as clypd’s Bruce Dilger writes on the ADOTAS blog, automation is the key to better targeting and scale. This article breaks down TV’s current ad delivery structure, and describes how programmatic buying can improve it.

Programmatic’s Biggest Challenges (Digiday) — Digidays calls out the industry’s three biggest challenges in programmatic buying. To uncover these challenges, they surveyed vendors and executives at all stages of the programmatic ad-buying process — advertisers, agencies, and publishers. Their responses speak volumes.

Programmatic Progress on Several Fronts(Technorati) — Yes, the last item on this round-up is…also a round-up. Focused on the most recent developments in the programmatic space, this round-up links to articles gathered from VentureBeat, Adage, Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere.

Read something you loved about programmatic marketing?  What did we miss? To share, tweet to us @BrightRoll.


Introducing Our New Partner Program

BrightRoll partner program

Marketers invest a lot of time and money to create effective, efficient video ad campaigns. In the programmatic video space, there’s an ever-growing ecosystem of products and services to help. In fact, the range of options can be overwhelming.

So first of all, what’s out there? Broadly speaking, programmatic marketers typically look for specialized technology that can assist with:

  • Audience targeting
  • Creative development and delivery
  • Measurement and validation
  • Technology infrastructure

The bottom line is that every organization has different needs, but all marketers look for technology that is vouched for by a trusted source.

That’s why BrightRoll created a program to partner with companies who complement our platform. This program helps customers sort through their many technology options, and gives them access to tools and insights within the platform.

Simply put, these partners were selected for their ability to add value for our customers, as each has a track record of success in the four key areas listed above. We’ve also committed to helping our partners improve their effectiveness. In this way, our program not only serves the needs of our customers, but will also advance the industry as a whole.

To learn more about BrightRoll’s new partner program, visit: http://www.brightroll.com/partners.

How Smart is Your Marketing? 4 Ways a Platform Makes Your Video Ads Smarter

Programmatic Video Advertising Platform

“Work smarter, not harder.” It’s a cliche, but it’s also true. In today’s advertising landscape, it’s all about reaching buyers in the smartest way possible — which means ads that are targeted and automated. Digital video ads have the potential to be both.

That’s part of the reason why, according to Business Insider, spend on digital video ads is growing faster than television ads. Video also has the highest click-through rates of any digital advertising format.

And that’s where programmatic platforms come in. Simply put, they help you manage the planning, targeting, optimization, and reporting of your digital video ads. But as advertisers evaluate platforms, questions arise: How can a platform help me achieve my goals? How can I be sure I’m reaching my audience? How can I measure my results?

When considering the value of a platform, look for technology that is Smart, Efficient, and Effective — or “SEE.” As we explain in our new ebook, Seeing is Believing, these are the three pillars of a platform worth investing in. In this blog post, we’ll focus on the first: Smart.

Smarter Technology, Smarter Ads

Smart technology should be intuitive. The point is do more with less — not to waste your time with frustrating interfaces or cryptic instructions. A smart platform should give you control over your campaigns, and empower your team to confidently manage programs.

If you want to “work smarter,” here are four things you should look for in a video ad platform:

  1. It helps you find your audience. Smart ads are targeted. A platform can help you develop segmentation models, and identify audience, inventory, and publishers to target (or exclude).
  2. It puts you in control. Programmatic platforms use real-time bidding to buy inventory, but you’ll have pricing control. Set campaign parameters such as cost-per-impression, frequency, and timing.
  3. It optimizes. To make smart decisions, you need strong reporting and analytics. A video ad platform makes campaign analysis simple, so that you can continually optimize.
  4. It makes you smarter. Whether you use an agency or run your campaigns in house, a video ad platform should build your team’s knowledge. You’ll have more direct access to your campaigns, and more hands-on exposure to your results, which will help you form strategies. If you work with agency, it will help you give clear, articulate directions.

To learn more about working smarter with video ad platforms, download our new ebook: Seeing is Believing: Smart, Efficient Marketing with the Right Video Advertising Platform


Infographic: Attack of the Bots

Advertisers invest serious time and money to create  original, engaging, and innovative ads. But not all of those ads reach their audiences. Unfortunately, as much as 36% of  online traffic isn’t driven by humans — it’s driven by bots.

So what are bots, and how does fraudulent traffic actually work? To see how bot-driven traffic impacts advertisers and publishers, click below to view our new infographic: Attack of the Bots.

Attack of the Bots Traffic Fraud Infographic Teaser

Want to find out what happens next? Click the image above to view our full infographic.

To learn more about traffic fraud, download our new paper: Traffic Fraud in Video Advertising.

Karma, Privilege, and Empowerment: Lessons from the Grace Hopper Women in Computing Conference

grace hopper conference

In early October, BrightRoll attended the Grace Hopper Women in Computing conference. It was a first for us, but it will certainly not be the last given the value, connections and inspiration we got from those three days.  We came back inspired and excited, but also a little deflated. Grace Hopper now boasts over 8,000 attendees, which is a huge leap from the 150 attendees at their very first conference in 1994. But despite all of the growth, it’s clear that there is still a lot standing between gender equality and tech.

Trust Karma, but Ask for a Raise

Enough has been written about the tone deaf comment made by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, but his statement is worth endless analysis and commentary. Careless or not, what he said tells women that we have a long way to go. If men who say they want equality are this out of touch, what can we expect from those who haven’t bought into gender equality?

His comment is not malicious, but it speaks to a bigger problem: ignorance.

According to the New York Times, female computer scientists make 89 cents for every dollar that men make. Although this gap is smaller than some other fields, there is still a gap, and silently waiting to be recognized has clearly not made any difference. Don’t “wait for karma” — ask for a raise.

Be Aware of Your Privilege

Perhaps one of the most valuable things about attending Grace Hopper was being forced to recognize our own privilege. Privilege is, of course, a loaded word. Who has it, and how much of it do they have? What does it mean? How can we start to recognize it?

I missed the infamous “Male Allies” panel, but I followed the conversation on Twitter with curiosity. An all-white, all-male panel speaking about diversity to a diverse female audience is a guaranteed trainwreck. The panel reinforced old stereotypes and once again showed us that even our allies are unaware of their own privilege.

The brave male BrightRoller who attended Grace Hopper with us went to a session on privilege hosted by students and teachers from Harvey Mudd’s Computer Science program.  To illustrate just how much privilege enables success, they conducted a privilege walk. In the exercise, participants step forward if they have experienced specific privileges, or step back if they have experienced specific disadvantages. There was palpable tension in the room. People instinctively perceived  the privilege differential. When the group reflected on the activity at the end of the session, the word “discomfort” came up over and over.

Privilege is tied intimately to the notion of micro biases. Individual steps forward or backward are nearly undetectable, but the steps add up fast. Calling out privilege and bias, while uncomfortable and awkward, is liberating.


It is incredibly empowering to walk into a room full of amazingly smart women, to hear from Turing Award Winners, CTOs, scientists, and technologists. It’s empowering to see young girls find the confidence they need to make a difference.

My colleague Betsy said it best: Grace Hopper was inspiring because we got to hear stories from accomplished women technologists looking to give back to the community. Their stories of success without a support system, and their willingness to bolster other women makes Grace Hopper a must for all women in tech.

What is Next?

There was a lot of discomfort at Grace Hopper. To be honest, I think we brought some of it back. But discomfort is good. It surfaces things we are often too scared to acknowledge.

At BrightRoll, we strive to create an environment that recognizes the challenges faced by working women. We are nowhere near perfect, but we are working on initiatives to acknowledge gender bias, and to eliminate the barriers that keep us from an all-inclusive culture. Attending the Grace Hopper Conference might sound like a small step, but it is a small step in the right direction.


Award Sweep: BrightRoll Receives Three Prestigious Industry Recognitions

November has been an exciting month for BrightRoll. This past week, the company received three prestigious awards from Ernst and Young, Deloitte and Industry Index.

Earlier this week, BrightRoll CEO and Founder, Tod Sacerdoti, was named the 2014 National EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ in Media, Entertainment and Communications. The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award, a leading business award for entrepreneurs, encourages entrepreneurial activity and recognizes leaders and visionaries who demonstrate innovation, financial success and personal commitment as they create and build world-class businesses. The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners were selected by an independent panel of judges and from more than 250 regional award recipients. Check out Tod’s acceptance speech and learn more about his entrepreneurial path that lead him to building the world’s industry’s leading programmatic video advertising platform.

In addition to the recognition from E&Y, BrightRoll ranked 81 out of 500 on the 2014 Deloitte Tech Fast 500 list and 41 out of 241 within the software category. Deloitte’s Tech Fast 500 list is an annual ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in North America. Winners are selected based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth from 2009 to 2013. BrightRoll’s position on the list is a 12 spot jump up from the company’s ranking at 93 from last year. This growth is attributed to the company’s continued investment in programmatic video and technology innovations that simplify the complexity of buying and selling video advertising across digital platforms.

Lastly, BrightRoll was honored with a Marketers Choice Award for the highest ranked Video Advertising Technology Company of the Year on Industry Index. Built with marketers in mind, Industry Index is the only searchable database and ratings platform that’s focused on measuring innovation. Digital marketers can rely on the Industry Index to quickly and easily see who stands out across the advertising technology landscape, based on both relevance to specific marketer needs as well as peer ratings. Check out BrightRoll’s Industry Index profile to see why our clients and industry professionals rated us as the number one video advertising company.

BrightRoll is extremely proud to be named alongside so many outstanding companies and individuals from each award – congrats to all!

Reach Your Customers With BrightRoll’s Mobile Audience Guarantee and Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings™

It’s an exciting time to be a part of the ad tech ecosystem.

While TV remains the “first screen,” video consumption on mobile devices is increasing at record levels. CMO.com reports that online video consumption across mobile devices is accelerating rapidly, with smartphone increases of 73% and tablet increases of 42% year over year (Q1 2013 vs. Q1 2014). According to eMarketer, US mobile advertising grew to $9.69 billion in 2013 and is projected to reach $17.73 billion by the end of 2014. The number of US mobile and connected TV viewers will reach a staggering 204.6 million by 2017.

We’ve kept pace at BrightRoll with the change in consumer behavior. First to offer web audience guarantees in 2011, BrightRoll now offers audience guarantees for mobile advertising via Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings, which was recently expanded to include mobile measurement. Mobile audience guarantees enable advertisers to pay only for impressions that are measured and verified by Nielsen Online Campaign RatingsTM (mOCR) within their target audience — a real win for advertisers who are working hard to increase the return on their investment.

BrightRoll’s mobile audience guarantee gives our customers the ability to:

  • Reach specific audiences on smartphones and tablets with increased cost efficiencies
  • Verify audience delivery for both web and mobile at no additional cost
  • Access unified campaign management for web and mobile from a single platform

BrightRoll was the first video advertising platform to partner with Oracle BlueKai, eXelate, Datalogix and Lotame for in-app and mobile web targeting. This access allows advertisers unparalleled opportunity to extend their reach, delivering ads with sight, sound, and motion across any device.

The dramatic shift in consumer behavior has encouraged many brand marketers to rethink their media buying strategies, looking to place messages where their target audiences are spending time.


As the video advertising platform that 87 of the top 100 AdAge advertisers choose to reach their audiences, we’re excited to be leading this change. Why do advertisers choose BrightRoll? For one, you can seamlessly run your entire mobile video advertising campaign from start to finish with the BrightRoll platform’s mobile services, technology, and partnerships.

To learn more about how to reach your target audience on mobile, please contact us today!

How Mobile Video Ads Amplify TV Advertising

The way that consumers watch media has evolved — and it’s still evolving, more rapidly than ever. One of the biggest game changers has been the rise of mobile devices. Since 2014, smartphone usage has increased 73%, and mobile has increased 42%.

This means that TV is no longer the only way for brands to reach large audiences with videos ads. In fact, as our recent study with Nielsen found, marketers using TV and mobile together can expand their reach by as much as 11%, while spending less budget.

Want to find out how? Watch the video below for an animated explanation of our findings.

Want to read the full report? Download Mobile Video Advertising Strengthen TV Media Investments.